Brett Brown and Ben Simmons are heading into the postseason with a pair of honors.
Brown on Thursday was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month and Simmons was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in March and April.
This is the first time a Sixers head coach has won the award since Doug Collins in February 2011. Brown led the Sixers to their current 16-game winning streak, the longest in league history to end the regular season. He turned the Sixers around to a 52-win team, the franchise's most wins since the 2000-01 season. Brown is in the running for Coach of the Year.
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"The gratitude that I could be maybe a real-time example to other programs, to other owners that if you truly want to try to build something and you have the patience to try to see something through, that maybe other coaches or owners or programs could look at us as an example," Brown said Thursday when asked about the possibility of winning the annual award.
Simmons earned the rookie honors for the third straight month and fourth time this season. He recorded six triple-doubles and averaged 13.7 points, 10.1 assists and 9.3 rebounds in games during March and April.
Simmons is in a battle with Western Conference winner Donovan Mitchell for Rookie of the Year. Their contest has extended beyond the statistical leaderboards and onto game-day apparel. Mitchell wore a sweatshirt with a definition of the word "rookie" for the fact Simmons was with the Sixers last season while he was injured (see story). Simmons, however, did not appear in an NBA game until this season.